Urban vs. Suburban vs. Rural Colleges; Which are Better for You?

The most common phrase heard when choosing a home is "location, location, location!" People want to be comfortable where they live, and a significant component to a person's comfort is the environment in which he or she exists. People of any age hold this notion of their ideal environment and college students are no different. Choosing the college or university you want to attend involves making a decision regarding your ideal environment. You will be living at the college for at least four years and it is critical to choose a location that suits your needs for a lively and pleasant college experience. There are numerous ways to proceed with this step and one of the best ways is to separate your college list by their location's characteristics.

Splitting Up the List

The easiest way to categorize schools based on their locations is to divide them into three different categories:

Urban areas - These areas are the most densely populated of the three categories. Cities are always classified as urban areas and there are many human features (various structures erected by human interaction) in urban areas.

Suburban areas - Suburban areas are less populated than urban areas and have a more even ratio of human to non-human features. This means that there is more wildlife and foliage in a suburban area than an urban one.

Rural areas - Rural areas are the least populated of the three categories. There is more natural flora and fauna than structures that were created by humans. These areas are generally used for agriculture or nature parks.

Characteristics of Schools in These Areas

Now that your college list has a method for separating your preferred colleges and universities by location, it is important to realize what is typical of schools in these areas in order to choose what is right for you.

Urban - Colleges in urban areas will probably have more cultural activities than other schools. Urban areas usually have more museums, theaters, clubs, and other forms of entertainment in their proximity than suburbs or rural areas. The cost of living here may be more expensive, however, given that urban areas tend to have higher costs of living.

Suburban - Suburban colleges will be exposed to more nature than those in urban areas, at the price of culture. Suburban schools usually have resources for students' needs like stores, restaurants and other comforts. The cost of living in suburbs may be lower than that of urban areas.

Rural - Rural colleges and universities are usually among the most pristine campuses across the nation due to the lack of population. Students will not have as many resources available, however, since rural areas have less stores, restaurants and other amenities. Cost of living here, however, is usually lower than suburbs and urban areas.

Choosing What is Best For You

While it is important to sort these colleges and universities based on their location, it is meaningless without actually using those classifications to choose the school you want to attend. Really, the simplest way to do this is to weigh your love for nature over your love for culture. If you like seeing the forest more than going to a play, college in a rural area may be for you.


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